Plan to Display Digital Recreations of Palmyra Arch in London and New York Prompts End-Times Fears

From Charisma News:

A Gateway Could Be Opened When the Temple of Baal Is Erected in Times Square

In April, part of the Temple of Baal that stood in Palmyra, Syria, will be reconstructed in Times Square in New York City and in Trafalgar Square in London.

…The Institute of Digital Archaeology is the organization behind this effort, and the display of these two arches is intended to be the highlight of UNESCO’s World Heritage Week late next month.

…So could it be possible that we will be unknowingly setting up a gate or a portal of some sort in Times Square?

The author, a certain Michael Snyder, makes a link between Marduk – the deity worshipped at Palmyra as “Baal” – the Hebrew Bible’s Nimrod, and the New Testament’s Antichrist, and he suggests that the arch may be “opening up gateways and portals that are extremely dangerous and that we simply do not understand”. Snyder’s take on the arch owes more to science fiction than to evangelicalism (he even mentions Stargate), but, as I’ve noted before, there is a certain amount of overlap on the fringes.

Meanwhile, the project has been noted darkly by Jonathan Cahn, whose purported ability to discern signs of the “end times” has taken him to the top of the best-seller lists in the USA, and there is also a petition to “EVICT Baal from NYC“. Its author or authors (“Concerned Americans”) object on principle, rather than because of a specific belief that a supernatural irruption will follow:

We, the undersigned, appeal to the honorable Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City to immediately disallow the erection of the tower of Baal replica to be erected in Times Sqaure during the month of April, 2016 as part of “World Heritage Week”.

We recognize that this monument represents past a past culture of child sacrifice and sexual perversion and that creating a replica in our nation’s greatest city is in direct conflict with the values and morals of our great nation…

In fact, evidence of child sacrifice in ancient Ugaritic culture is scant (despite Biblical polemics), and it is doubtful that it ever occurred at the structure in Palmyra, which was built late during the classical period. Someone on Facebook has suggested a petition to send to Boris Johnson, but they don’t seem to got very far with it.

According to the Institute of Digital Archaeology, the project

…seeks to provide an optimistic and constructive response to the ongoing threats to history and heritage that have captured headlines over the past year  Our aim is to highlight the potential for the triumph of human ingenuity over violence by offering innovative, technology-driven options for the stewardship of objects and architecture from our shared past.

Nice sentiment – but apparently ISIS aren’t the only group to find cultural heritage an objectionable concept.

This reaction is not a big surprise, though: a few years ago an announcement of US funding to protect the archaeological site at Babylon prompted a similar hysteria, while evangelical antipathy to the existence of the seventh-century Dome of the Rock is well-documented.

World Congress of Families Heading For Georgia

From Christian Newswire:

Patriarch Ilia II, head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, who has been called “the most trusted man in Georgia,” gave his blessing to World Congress of Families and will give the keynote address at World Congress of Families X – Civilization at The Crossroads: The Natural Family as the Bulwark of Freedom and Human Values— in Tbilisi (May 15-18, 2016, www.worldcongress.ge).

…Tbilisi 2016 will be the first World Congress of Families in the Eurasian and Caucasus region (on the Old Silk Road to China) and the first in an Orthodox country.  WCF X conferences and concerts will be held in multiple venues in Tbilisi including the opening ceremony in Tbilisi’s State Philharmonic Concert Hall and the closing ceremony in the historic Rustaveli National Theatre. 

Further details about the event are available on the World Congress of Families website, including a quote from one of the local organizers:

…Levan Vasadze, Chairman of the Georgian Committee for WCF X commented, “We Georgians are honored and humbled by this great opportunity and privilege to host World Congress of Families X. As one of the oldest Christian nations on earth, we think this will be a refreshing opportunity for me and my fellow Georgians to meet Westerners (unlike those sent to Tbilisi by George Soros) who affirm human rights for all persons from conception to natural death but also defend the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness found in the Natural Family as the fundamental and only sustainable unit of society.”

The WCF Local Organizing Committee for WCF Georgia 2016 includes Levan Vasadze (Georgian business owner, rugby player, education leader, and philanthropist), Tinatin Khorbaladze, and other leaders from the Georgian Demographic Society.

The World Congress of Families, based in Rockford, Illinois, has been a focus of controversy for some time, due to its anti-gay stance and its links with Russia – issues I looked at in 2014.

Vasadze is close to Georgia’s president, Giorgi Margvelashvili. Several of Vasadze’s quotes appear in a report from the Media Diversity Institute, which describes his rhetoric as “ethno-centric and clearly anti-Western”:

“This war, the burning of the center of Kiev – was not it done by Americans?! Victoria Nuland was distributing sweet loafs to the opposition in the center of Kiev… Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine is the result of the coup d’etat staged by the Americans in Kiev.” ( Reaktsia, 13 February, Interpressnews and Geworld.ge, Reportiori, 14 February, 2015)

“The hurry and undemocratic nature of the adoption of anti-discrimination law has finalized the dictatorship of the Western liberalism in Georgia… The West has made the fatal mistake by proclaiming immorality to be a norm.” (Kviris Palitra, 20 January, 2015)

“Is our country independent or is it an insignificant republic which is still run by ambassadors and non-governmental organizations financed by the West? The West needs Georgia in this region very much, perhaps to no lesser degree than Georgia needs the West.” (Kviris Palitra, 7-13 April, 2014)

“By the way, I absolutely agree with the statements of Irakli Garibashvili many of the foreign-financed NGOs are enemies of the country.” (Kviris Palitra, 20 January, 2015)

A profile in a magazine called Tabula has more of the same:

Central to Vasadze’s rhetoric is the criticism of the West and Georgia’s pro-Western orientation. In his rhetoric the West is perverted; Americans believe in Masons and money instead of god; Catholics are enemies of Orthodox Christians, whilst Protestants do not deserve to be called Christians at all. The recognition of our territorial integrity by the West, in Vasadze’s rhetoric, is prompted only by the West’s desire to “capture” Georgia, whilst Georgia’s pro-Western policy is tantamount to the reflex of a Pavlovian dog. At the same time, for some unknown reason, Vasadze’s does not vent his ire towards Russia – a country which, by its social and cultural features, can hardly be regarded as more traditional than Western countries in any way. Even more, in his opinion the “co-religionist Russians are our allies both culturally and spiritually, not enemies.” Vasadze disapproves of excessive criticism of the absolutely anti-Christian Soviet Union too. True, he admits that the communists were bad guys, but then hails the greatest achievements of that totalitarian regime and is happy that Georgians were “viewed as a respected nation” on the vast Eurasian space in Soviet times.

At the same time, Levan Vasadze dislikes liberal democracy and is quite eloquent when describing the uselessness and evils of this political system. This is compounded by his xenophobic reasoning about the ethnic origins of certain politicians and his demands that the “regime” of the United National Movement be “brought to justice.”

However, he is critical of the Russian occupation of Abkhazia and Samachablo.

The  Georgian Demographic Society appears to be the same body as the Demographic Renaissance Foundation of Georgia; the Georgian Journal reported in 2013:

Businessman Levan Vasadze will lead the Supervising Board of the Demographic Renaissance Foundation of Georgia, founders Dimitri Khundadze and Tamar Chiburdanidze announced at a presentation of board members at Tbilisi Marriott Hotel on July 16.

…Khundadze said the United Nations forecast had indicated Georgia’s population would decrease by 28 per cent by 2050, placing the Georgian gene pool under threat. The Foundation announced it wished to provide financial support for families for their third child – the determining factor for the population’s size – and planned to carry out a regional policy on the matter as well as open anti-abortion and pregnancy centers.

Operation Midland Finally Closes Down

From the Metropolitan Police:

A man in his 60s who was previously interviewed under caution has today, Monday 21 March, been advised by officers working on Operation Midland that he will face no further action.

Operation Midland has now closed.

In October 2014, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) received allegations of a serious nature involving murder and sexual assault made by a single individual. The allegations concerned non-recent matters over a 10 year period (1975-1984) at a number of locations.

The credibility of the allegations was assessed after a process involving extended questioning of the complainant by specialist child protection detectives.

…The allegations included the potential homicide of three boys. The complainant identified one of these as resembling a boy called Martin Allen who disappeared in November 1979.

In the course of the investigation, officers have not found evidence to prove that they were knowingly misled by a complainant. The MPS does not investigate complainants simply on the basis that their allegations have not been corroborated…

This understates the extravagance of the complainant’s allegations: “Nick”, as he is known to the media, accused Harvey Proctor of being part of a murderous VIP paedophile ring that also included former Prime Minister Ted Heath, and he accused the former head of the British Army, Lord Bramall, of presiding over Remembrance Day paedophilic orgies at which Remembrance poppies were pinned into Nick’s skin as a form of torture (an obvious “secular” variant on Satanic Ritual Abuse). It also glosses over how Nick’s story grew over the years, also incorporating Jimmy Savile, Greville Janner, and Leon Brittan.

In this context, the decision to emphasize the continuing tragic mystery of Martin Allen looks like a cynical attempt to make the investigation look more grounded in reality than it ever was. It should also be remembered that police were particularly impressed by Nick’s apparent ability to recall details of a military base – a location that he had actually visited as a tourist in 2013. That looks like reasonable evidence of the police being “knowingly misled by a complainant.”

The police has been very slow to back down from its initial assessment that Nick’s claims were “credible and true”: Operation Midland was folded into Operation Fairbank (a more general investigation into claims of VIP abuse) in October 2015; the case against Lord Bramall was dropped in mid-January; and reports predicting the investigation’s imminent demise appeared during February. Details of today’s announcement were leaked the media on Friday. Today’s outcome has been inevitable for months.

The news will of course be met with scepticism by those who have invested in “Nick’s” story as irrefutable evidence of the establishment’s complete and utter moral turpitude – oddly putting aside any critical thinking about the police and the legal system while attempting to strike an anti-establishment pose. In a world where David Icke fill halls, it requires little cognitive adjustment to see a failed investigation as simply further evidence of the establishment’s supposed power.

Thus Exaro News, which accompanied Nick to the police in 2014, has announced that the investigation “has been halted”, a form of expression obviously meant to imply a countervailing force – Exaro‘s Mark Watts previously denounced criticism of Operation Midland as an “unprecedented campaign, in plain sight, to halt a police investigation that the establishment fears.”

I’m all for “holding power to account”, to use Exaro‘s masthead slogan; but power is not a monopoly and there is more than one “establishment”. In this instance, we’ve seen the power of the false accuser – and it should worry everyone.

***
UPDATE: It is worth adding something about the Martin Allen disappearance. The Met Statement has the detail that:

In the course of seeking evidence which could corroborate or indeed disprove the initial allegations, more individuals came forward to provide additional information to Operation Midland. They were interviewed in September 2015. The allegations included further information relating to the disappearance of Martin Allen. This generated new lines of inquiry which have had to be thoroughly investigated.

Martin Allen’s disappearance in London in 1979 is one of those cases that has remained in the public consciousness ever since. A book was published in 1984, and articles about the subject have appeared periodically over the years. In particular, there was renewed press interest in 2009, the 30th anniversary. Many of these reports included photographs of Martin Allen; Nick’s ability to describe him, therefore, is not evidence that he ever met him.

Martin Allen was linked to Nick’s claims at an early stage; the Independent reported in November 2014:

His brother Kevin, 51, has said he was called by Detective Chief Inspector Diane Tudway of the Metropolitan Police on Friday, who told him she was investigating whether Martin’s disappearance is linked to an alleged ring made up of MPs and senior figures of authority.

Operation Midland, the investigation into the deaths, was set up this month and officers said that Operation Fairbank intelligence has led them to look into whether high-profile officials were involved in organised child sex abuse and murder in the 1970s and 1980s at locations including the Elm Guest House in Barnes, southwest London…

The case of Martin Allen’s disappearance was closed in the 1980s, but reopened in 2009 and shut again last year.

Kevin Allen said he had been told first that files relating to the case had been destroyed in a flood, and then that a retired police officer had taken them to Spain. However, these files were apparently recovered in April 2015.

The Evening Standard had further details in May 2015:

The police phoned [Kevin Allen] after the Daily Telegraph ran a story about Nick’s account last November [2014]. “They said, ‘Your brother is 80 per cent one of the three kids who were murdered’, and I said, ‘’What are you talking about?’ I didn’t hear anything else from them for 70 days then we had a meeting.’

However, ITV News now reports a statement by Kevin Allen:

“…The team only spoke to me once back in February when they informed me my brother’s case was part of the inquiry and asked for a photograph of him. I have not heard from them since…”

Presumably he means February 2015 rather than February 2016, by which time Lord Bramall had been cleared and the operation was on its last legs. February 2015 also fits better with the “70 days” timeframe after initial contact in November 2014.

Kevin Allen maintains that Operation Midland “was closed by the highest order”, obviously implying corruption. He has also alleged that a police officer warned him some time ago that he might get “hurt” if he kept alleging a cover up.

Some Notes on the Paladin Service, the Media, the CPS, and the Police

Introduction
The Media
The Crown Prosectution Service
The Police
Statistics
Botched legislation?
Footnote

(Updated April 2016)

Introduction

From the Mail on Sunday:

There were calls last night for the head of an anti-stalking charity to be investigated after her ‘outrageous’ claims that a former male colleague had stalked her were dropped.

Laura Richards, chief executive of Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service, accused former co-director Harry Fletcher, 69, of plaguing her ‘with up to 50 phone calls a day’.

The married family man – a leading criminal justice expert – endured 15 months of torment during which he was interviewed under caution and his professional life was placed on hold.

But as the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case due to lack of evidence last week, former MP Elfyn Llwyd, who led reform of stalking laws, called for the Charity Commission to investigate Ms Richards.

Richards’s complaint against Fletcher was first reported in the same newspaper just over a year ago, and both articles include comments from professional peers about Richards that are not to her credit. A second report from February 2015 also raised concerns about how the Paladin Service was being run: Comic Relief had suspended a grant, caseworkers had resigned, and the long-established  Suzy Lamplugh Trust had stopped making referrals to the organization, complaining that cases weren’t being picked up.

The 2015 articles were a surprise: the Paladin Service, which had been launched at the House of Lords in 2013, enjoyed widespread goodwill for its efforts on behalf of individuals who were being victimised by stalking, and Richards was a frequent media commentator on the subject. However, as we saw with Kids’ Company last summer, just because an organisation has laudable aims, that does not mean that all is well, or that a media-savvy and plausible CEO who may indeed have given real assistance to individuals in need ought to escape critical scrutiny.

Once again, this is not the kind of subject that I anticipated getting into when I started this blog, but this is where various chains of connection have led me. I have two concerns here: (1) in general, that advocacy on behalf of genuine victims is tipping over into the uncritical promotion of unsubstantiated (and even malicious) accusations; and (2) in particular, that it should be recalled that Richards was instrumental in promoting and giving credibility to false accusations of stalking by a politician with a grudge.

The Media

Starting with the latter point, I first became aware of Richards in the early autumn of 2014, when she provided quotes for a Telegraph feature with the sensationalizing headline “Stalkers: Why Career Women are their New Targets“. That piece was by Radhika Sanghani, and it complemented a softball interview with Nadine Dorries MP, who regularly deploys spiteful and false accusations of stalking in order to discourage and harass critics of her performance as a public figure. Richards’s punditry served up a diagnosis that saved Sanghani the bother of actually fact-checking various assertions that Dorries had made in her interview and in a lurid feature for the Mail on Sunday‘s Femail section (background here; I am a friend of the person Dorries was smearing).

According to Sanghani’s account:

[Richards] explains that often a professional, successful woman can be a target for a stalker, especially if they – or their work – appears in the public domain. It means that the stalker can criticise them, perhaps through a blog like Dorries’ does, and appear to have legitimate concerns.

But Richards was not just a disinterested analyst – by advocating for Dorries she was also working to raise her own media profile. Indeed, the fact that Dorries, Richards and a second complainant mentioned in Sanghani’s article soon afterwards appeared together at a public seminar on the subject of stalking indicates that the author was primarily facilitating a media strategy. It seemed to me that we were also moving into moral panic territory. The problem of online stalking and abuse is real enough, and in the autumn of 2014 it was high on the media’s agenda (a man was standing trial at this time for sending threatening texts to Stella Creasy MP, and he was subsequently jailed) – but Richards was here claiming to be able to effect the discoverie of stalking through some sort of special expert discernment. (1)

My sceptical impression has been strengthened by a strange statement which Richards has issued in response to the new Mail on Sunday article, in which she exhorts us to ask: “who does this article benefit? Who is the actual source of this disinformation?” The answer, presumably, is that it benefits stalkers, who wish to to discredit Richards. One might have hoped that that kind of rhetorical move went out with McCarthy, but it has proven depressingly resilient.

Perhaps inevitably, Richards also raises the currently fashionable spectre of “victim blaming”. She doesn’t properly explain what she means here, but these days the phrase is commonly used against anyone who suggests that a person accused of certain crimes, particularly against women or children, might in fact be innocent (as noted last month by Dan Hodges, in an article about the Met’s bungled historical CSA investigations). We must “believe the victim”, not look for evidence.

The Crown Prosecution Service

Richards states that the CPS chose not to prosecute “the stalker” because “his behaviour is mirrored when he interacts with others [and] they felt a jury may struggle with the context”. She also claims that “for a case to get as far as being referred to the CPS means there is substantial information and evidence worthy or being assessed in the first place”, and notes that it took “almost two years”. One wonders why we ever bother with trials at all, if a referral to the CPS from the police essentially means “no smoke without fire”, and the longer it takes for the CPS to come to a decision is demonstrative of guilt.

For a long time, Paladin has heavily promoted the idea that stalkers are getting away with it because the CPS lacks understanding of current legislation (Paladin can offer training, naturally). I certainly wouldn’t want to assume CPS competence, but Paladin’s main talking point here has been less than honest. In April 2015, an article appeared in the Independent on Sunday under the headline “Compulsory training on tackling stalkers came in two years ago – but over a quarter of CPS lawyers have yet to attend”. The article included commentary from Richards, and it appears to have been produced to explain why the case brought by the second complainant in Sanghani’s 2014 Telegraph article had also failed.

But the thesis was self-evidently false: “over a quarter of CPS lawyers have yet to attend” means that nearly 75% have attended. Given the range of cases that pass through the CPS’s inbox, surely that ought to be enough to be getting on with? Paladin further sensationalized the story on Twitter by linking to it but claiming that “only 1 in 4 CPS lawyers are trained”. Perhaps this was an honest muddle, but inverting the percentage served the organization’s interest. And either way, it does not inspire confidence.

The Police

Richards previously worked as a behavioural analyst for the Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO’s) homicide working group, and the Paladin Service had a formal information sharing agreement with ACPO, which I understand has been carried over to the new National Police Chiefs’ Council.

Dorries made a complaint of her own to police in 2013, by her own account after having received an anonymous “tip-off” about stalking by email. The context makes it obvious that this was actually a malicious message from someone wanting to manipulate Dorries for his own purposes (not that she’s ever complained about being so used), and the complaint in due course folded.

Now for a bit of inside information that was passed to me: a confidant of hers (Dennis Rice, aka “Tabloidtroll” – ironically, a man with a real history of aggressive online trolling and harassment, including attacks on me, among many others) soon afterwards sent a goading and triumphal email to a third party in which he boasted that “a further criminal case is being prepared by ACPO”.*

It’s not clear why he thought this, and in fact nothing came of it, but its reasonable to assume he thought that the Paladin Service somehow had the power to make this happen. Where did he get that idea from?

Statistics

Richards’s statement includes the statement that she is not surprised by the outcome because “only 1% of stalkers [are] being prosecuted under the new law”. The Paladin website explains this further:

In 2013/14 CPS figures reveal that 743 stalking offences were prosecuted whereas 9,792 were prosecuted for harassment out of the 61 175 allegations recorded by police. Therefore only 1% of cases of stalking and 16% of cases of harassment recorded by the police result in a charge and prosecution by the CPS.

This seems to me to be confused and sensationalising, for several reasons.

First, the figure of 61,175 refers to allegations of harassment and stalking combined. It makes no sense to talk of “1% of cases of stalking and 16% of cases of harassment” when we don’t know how many of the 61,175 allegations relate to the former or to the latter. Further, it is innumerate to calculate both percentages by extrapolating from “743” and “9,792” to the same overall total. If 9,792 is 16% of harassment cases, then there are 61,200 harassment cases overall, which accounts for all the 61,175 allegations without leaving any over to give to stalking. And if 743 is 1% of stalking cases, then there have been 74,300 stalking cases. We need to more than double the “61,175” figure for Paladin’s percentages to be valid.

Second, the author very tellingly conflates “allegations recorded” with “offences”. Many complaints received will not have gone forward to the CPS in the first place. There are various reasons for this: some complaints will have been invalid (even if the complainant feels genuinely aggrieved), and some complaints will founder due to lack of evidence. Some complaints may be resolved via a formal police caution, in which an offence is admitted, or via an informal notification to a suspect about an allegation having been received against them (although these “harassment warnings”, which do not require any police investigation, are sometimes misused by vexatious complainants).

And third – how many of those prosecutions were actually successful anyway? Are we to infer a 100% conviction rate?

A new report on stalking law, by Alex Chalk and Richard Graham MPs, has some rather more useful figures:

In the year ending June 2015, the police recorded 93,423 harassment complaints and 3,179 stalking complaints. Prosecutions were commenced for 12,122 harassment and stalking offences in 2014-15; this is a rise of 1,587 offences (15.1%) from 2013-14. Of these, there were 1,103 prosecutions commenced under the new stalking offences (nearly 50% rise compared to 2014). Of those, only 427 related to the more serious offence of stalking (section 4A) which carries a maximum 5 year sentence if convicted.

This suggests that around one in three stalking complaints leads to prosecutions “under the new stalking offences”, rather than just 1%, and that just under one in six prosecutions are “related to the more serious offence of stalking”, which relates to fear of violence and/or a high (“serious”) level of “alarm or distress”. Further, we also have to factor in that some cases that might be regarded as either harassment or stalking will have been dealt with satisfactorily under the older harassment laws (see below for more on this).

Of course, such statistics always gloss over qualitative differences between individual cases; but whichever way we look at it, we can be sure that Richards’s complaint did not fail because, as she infers, 99% of stalkers get away with it.

Botched legislation?

Secret Barrister has written an interesting and well-informed post about the stalking legislation, which is of some relevance to the above:

What is stalking, you ask? Well here’s the clever bit. Stalking is…”a course of conduct which amounts to harassment…and [where] the acts or omissions involved are ones associated with stalking“. To inject some colour into the dull circularity of the definition, section 2A(3) provides “examples of acts or omissions associated with stalking”. In other words, you need to prove that the defendant is guilty of both harassment and stalking, in order to convict them of stalking. Therefore proving stalking is by definition harder for the prosecution than simply proving harassment.

… If prosecutions for stalking under section 2A are indeed few and far between (and actually, it appears that the numbers are growing), it strikes me as plausible that the prosecuting authorities are doing the sensible thing, and diverting “stalking” complaints into prosecutions for harassment, improving the chances of obtaining a conviction and the resultant protections (such as a restraining order) that the court can offer.

****

Footnote

1. Richards has previously used her status as an “expert” to promote her media profile in other contexts: thus in 2006 she fronted a documentary which claimed to offer new insights into the identity of Jack the Ripper.

*Less than 24 hours after posting above, I received a communication from Rice, in which he threatened to damage my employment prospects. See details here.

UK Child Sex Abuse People’s Tribunal Report Contains VIP Satanic Ritual Abuse Claim

From the Press Association:

A Government-funded “popular tribunal” should be established on a permanent basis to take evidence from survivors of child sexual abuse, a report has recommended.

…The report of the UK Child Sex Abuse People’s Tribunal blamed “a series of institutional failings” for preventing the reporting of abuse, and claimed that there were “clear links” between children left vulnerable as a result and “predatory abuse on an organised scale”.

…The People’s Tribunal was set up in 2014 on the initiative of survivors and their supporters, and has heard the testimonies of 20 people about their experience of sexual abuse, as well as taking evidence from expert witnesses.

…The Tribunal’s legal adviser Alan Collins, a partner at Hugh James solicitors, said: “The People’s Tribunal’s preliminary findings reveal that there exists a widespread under-reporting of sexual abuse, which is the result of inadequate systems and safeguards which, if in place, would undoubtedly have led to a greater number of victims coming forward to report historic or ongoing abuse.

The above process moves from “testimonies” to “expert witnesses” to “findings” without pausing to assess the credibility of “evidence” – which means that we are asked to take at face value a story that contains the most extraordinary and wide-ranging allegations of VIP paedophilia and Satanism.

The full report is available online; it is published as an image-only pdf, which means that it cannot be searched, and it is more laborious to quote than it needs to be. Here is the relevant account (emphases added):

Z86 was sexually abused by his father from infancy, and from about the age of two years his mother began to take him to other houses (‘mansions’) where he was raped both anally and orally by elderly upper-class men. His father also took him to various holiday camps, where he was swapped with other children for abuse by a group of fathers. His father continued to abuse him into his 20s.

At the age of four, Z86 was taken to his GP’s surgery for ‘inculations’ and ‘woke to find himself’ at a nearby defence establishment. He was later taken to the same place via his Sunday school, with other children. Z86 describes children being kept in cages, tortured with electric shocks, deprived of any comfort or proper food, and eventually be ‘conditioned’ or trained to abuse and hurt other children. He believes that the training was to prepare him for child prostitution. From a newspaper photograph Z86 recognized one adult who he remembers being present on several occasions at this place.

At the age of eight, Z86 was taken abroad as part of a large extended family group where he was again abused. The abuse included sex with animals, gang rape and being used to produce child pornography. On returning to the UK he was again taken repeatedly to the defence establishment for further serious abuse. He was injected with unknown substances and given other drugs in drinks. He suspects that these were dissociative drugs, because they made him lose awareness of time and place.

As he became older he was also ‘directed’ to attend monthly ritual abuse bonfires. He was instructed for instance, to go to a particular rendez-vous at night. He recognized adults there, respected professionals, people from his local community and from schools and church groups. The activities of this group included satanic rituals and ritual murder.

As a teenager he was directed to go to particular places in London. Z86 gives details of the activities carried out there: he says that he had to wear a uniform, and he names his own ‘clients’, VIPs and other public figures.

Z86 has severe mental health problems, being diagnosed as having depression, anxiety, PTSD, and dissociative personality disorder. Since he became an adult he has received effective therapeutic help. With the support of his therapist he gave a police video interview in 2011, after which his father was arrested. Although the police wished to pursue this, the CPS decided no charges could be brought.

He then decided to try to hide his identity, changing his name and moving to another part of the country. He has received death threats and attempts to harm him, and believes that several of his friends and associates have been attacked or murdered by their former abusers. Z86 now lives abroad. Since moving to a safer situation, he has been able to talk about the organized aspects of his abuse to his therapist and to a police officer he trusts.

One wonders how the Press Association journalist managed to write a story about the report without noticing a bombshell that ought to shatter our understanding of the workings of British society. Or did he or she decide that this story is so extravagant that it would be best passed over?

The account given above is so vague as to be impossible to prove or disprove, but even with the best will in the world it is impossible to comply with the popular mantra that we must always “believe the victim”. How many “VIP” adults were part of this conspiracy? How many soldiers knew about it? Where are all the other victims? How did the whole thing escape any media or police interest? Was everyone at the “defence establishment” in on it? If not, why did no one else suspect? Why were Z86’s friends killed, yet he has only been threatened? And so on. These are serious difficulties.

The most significant detail in the above, it seems to me, is the involvement of a therapist – we know that some therapists are heavily invested in the idea of Satanic conspiracies, and there has been at least one tragedy caused by a therapist persuading a client to believe that she had been raped by politicians (with a claw hammer) and subjected to Satanic Ritual Abuse by her family. This was the case of Carol Felstead, and the specific details that she was induced to believe were demonstrably untrue. Carol died in 2005, but if she were alive today and still in the tormenting grip of her delusions, I have no doubt that she would be producing testimony similar to that of Z86 (as well as that of “Nick“). That must give pause for thought.

Some critical comment about the “Tribunal” and its report is available on the SAFF website. The SAFF author, John Freedom, notes that Collins is director of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL), which was founded by one Lee Moore,* who herself claims to be an SRA survivor and who organised seminars on the subject for the London Met. Another advisor to the UKCSAPT is Heather Bacon, “a child-protection academic who was peripherally involved in the Cleveland Scandal”, and Freedom judges that the Tribunal is “an extension of RAINS”, the Ritual Abuse Information Network and Support group.

Freedom also draws attention to an item by Ellen Lacter in the UKCSAPT report’s list of references, describing her as someone who “believes in demon infestation of the body and exorcism. She is a close aquaintence of recovered memory practitioners.” I previously wrote about Lacter, a San Diego-based psychologist,  on this blog here – she considers her “mentor” to be one Steve Oglevie, who was at the centre of a 1989 incident in Idaho in which the discovery of a dead baby led to a Satanic panic. In 2008, Lacter contributed to a book called Forensic Aspects of Dissociative Identity Disorder, which also had a chapter by Joan Coleman, the founder of RAINS. Lacter hailed the book’s publication as a sign that “the tide is beginning to turn” after years of sceptical dismissal of SRA. Looks like she was right about that, at least.

*Corrected: I originally misread the source and incorrectly stated that Moore was herself an advisor to the Tribunal

Daily Mail Questions Attack on Refugees in Stockholm Story

(Expanded)

From the Daily Mail:

Stockholm station is, remember, where a disturbing event happened a few weeks ago. According to Left-wing Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, there was a violent, unprovoked rampage by a masked mob of neo-Nazis and football hooligans who were targeting migrants, including north African street children. Aftonbladet’s reports, based on police information, made newspaper and TV headlines around the world.

The Swedish were told in Aftonbladet’s report that anti-migrant leaflets declaring ‘Enough Now’ were handed out by the Stockholm mob. The newspaper posted online a video of men in dark clothes milling about in the station as evidence of the riot.

A lone migrant witness called Christian, 16, was photographed afterwards by the paper, saying he had been slapped in the face by a man during the fracas, although he admitted he had not contacted the police about it.

Indeed, Stockholm Police confirmed to the Mail this week that since the ‘neo-Nazi’ station disturbance, no migrants – underage or otherwise – have reported any assaults on them that evening.

This raises the disturbing question as to whether the anti-migrant rampage ever took place in the way described. A local newspaper said in the aftermath that the video showed nothing more than police chasing away the leaflet distributors. The footage has no images of child refugees – and the only sign of violence appears to involve a policeman waving a baton.

For their part, the police say that a handful of the apparent protagonists were interviewed over various offences, including drunken disorder, an assault on a policeman with a bottle, and the possession of a knuckle-duster.

This is presented as evidence of “how Europe’s most liberal nation gagged its own people” from talking about attacks by migrants.

One of those newspaper headlines from “around the world” actually appeared in… the Daily Mail:

‘Hundreds-strong’ mob of masked men rampage through Stockholm station beating up refugee children in revenge attack for female asylum centre worker killed by Somali ‘boy’

This earlier article included the text of the leaflet, translated into English, including the following:

 ‘When Swedish streets are no longer safe to walk on for normal Swedes, it is our DUTY to fix the problem,’ the leaflet reads.

‘This is why, today, 200 Swedish men gathered to take a stand against the north African ‘street children’ who are running rampage in and around the capital’s central station.’

Several sites carry what appears to be a photograph of the leaflet, and the original text has been published on some sympathetic Swedish websites. Thus the existence of the leaflet rests on firmer grounds than just “the Swedish were told in Aftonbladet’s report…” It thus appears that the Mail‘s original headline about “beating up refugee children” derives from a document in which the men in masks stated their intentions, rather than from a stretched interpretation of the video.

Aftonbladet‘s reporting of the incident can be seen here (with follow ups here and here); the report includes a statement from police which confirms that the only arrests related to an assault on a police officer and someone carrying brass knuckles – in other words, the same anti-climatic details that that the Daily Mail is now presenting as a supposed revelation that the “left-wing” Aftonbladet wanted to ignore.

Also, while the Mail headline refers to “children”, which could give a misleading impression of toddlers been bashed about, Aftonbladet went for a rather more low-key “Huge Police Presence in Central Stockholm”. To me, that is not suggestive of a newspaper seeking to exaggerate violence against migrants in order to discredit critics of the country’s migration policy.

Perhaps reporters at the scene (and those writing derivative articles) could have been more critical and forensic, and perhaps police encouraged them to assume the worst, for their own reasons (as Paul Stott cautions; and there is nothing in the leaflet, by the way, that is specifically “neo-Nazi”); but insofar as there may have been exaggeration, it looks to me that it was ultimately because journalists took the masked men at their word.

There is, however, another possibility: that the Mail‘s question about “whether the anti-migrant rampage ever took place in the way described” is meant to imply not so much exaggeration, but, rather, distortion. The article begins with a portrait of Stockholm Station which suggests that it’s a seedy area where African and Arab migrants “hang around”, dealing drugs and engaging in low-level sexual harassment; are we to infer from this that the “rampage” may have been provoked?

If that is the intention, the story would be part of a trend – just couple of days ago, I discussed an account of migrants supposedly being attacked in Russia after engaging in anti-social behaviour at nightclub. However, there is reason to believe that that story was false.

Footnote

For some, news that there may have been less violence than was originally thought will be a disappointment; last month, I noted that an article published by the Walid Shoebat Foundation had written about Swedish “patriots” assaulting “Muslim invaders” with sanguinary glee.

Some Notes on the Daily Caller’s Anti-Refugee Story From Russia

Daily Caller Refugees

Here’s one I missed from a month ago. From the Daily Caller:

A group of 51 refugees were brutally assaulted outside a night club in Murmansk, Russia, after they groped and molested women at a night club Saturday.

The refugees had previously been ordered to leave Norway for “bad behavior” and tried their luck in Russia. What they didn’t realize when they went out clubbing in Murmansk is that Russians have less tolerance when it comes to sexual assault on local women than other European countries.

…The refugees tried to flee but were quickly captured by the Russians. They then took them out to the street and gave them a beating they will remember. Police arrived to break up the fight but locals report that they threw a few punches at the refugees before arresting 33 of them. Eighteen refugees were in such bad condition they had to be take to the hospital.

As shown above, the story is illustrated with a photograph of a gang of burly men, one of whom has a club, beating up another man, who cowers on the ground.

The source given in the link above is an Italian report from Imola Oggi (without the photo), which in turn cites Fort RussThe Fort Russ article is in English (“translated by Tom Winter”), and states that it “was prepared from material on social network sites.”

However, it followed an earlier report on the same site (“translated by Ollie Richardson”) which has a somewhat different version of the story:

Several refugees from Arab countries were beaten in the middle of the night of Saturday in the city of Polyarnye Zori (Murmansk oblast), reported a FlashNord source in the law enforcement bodies of the region.

The incident occurred in the nightclub Gandvik.

“According to preliminary data, five refugees were beaten in the entertainment establishment. According to witnesses, they behaved insolently and had been pestering local girls,” — said the Agency’s interlocutor.

“Five”. As opposed to “51”. And no reference to any arrests. But there’s more: the original article from FlashNord can be seen here. It was followed up on the same day with a second article, confirming that there may have been a fight outside the nightclub, but that details could not be confirmed from CCTV and it was all over by the time the police arrived.

So, it looks like there was an incident of some kind – but it is far from clear that it was anything more significant than the kind of fight that tends to occur sometimes near venues where young men have been drinking and are perhaps “on the pull”. Were refugees involved? Was the incident provoked by anti-social behaviour towards female clubbers? Nothing in the report confirms any such details (and I can’t find further evidence elsewhere) – and the story of a mass incident involving dozens of arrests appears to have been a fiction.

The photograph used by the Daily Caller doesn’t make much sense: it shows just one man being attacked, and – somewhat crucially – it was taken in middle of the day. The site either didn’t bother – or forgot – to remove the photo’s metadata caption, which identifies it as actually showing Russian Cossacks assaulting a Ukrainian in Sevastopol in 2014. It was published in its correct context in the media at the time (see below).

Did the Daily Caller intend to deceive? Robert Spencer, always eager to spread stories about how Muslims are depraved, appears to have taken it at face value as evidence, as did other right-leaning sites.

Perhaps it was intended merely to be illustrative – but given that the Daily Caller clearly approves of the outcome in their version of the story, such a photo serves to titillate, and perhaps to exhort.

Have we really reached the point where a photo of a bunch thugs beating someone up is to be celebrated because someone has said that it shows a refugee, and has further assured us that the victim did something anti-social and deserves his fate?

Spencer vs Mirror